Background: Efavirenz has been associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, but little is known about depression and quality of life in sub-Saharan Africa, where nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens are still the first-line treatment recommended by the World Heath Organization (WHO) and are widely prescribed.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, we evaluated quality of life and depression among Senegalese patients receiving efavirenz- or protease inhibitor (PI)-based regimens. Two hundred consecutive patients who had been taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) for more than 6 months were asked to complete a questionnaire.
Results: According to the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), 18% had depression (19% for patients on a PI-based regimen and 17% for patients on efavirenz-based treatment). Fifty-nine per cent of the patients reported no health problems in the past 4 weeks. A quarter of patients had sleep disorders. Moderate or slight adverse events were reported by 28.5% of patients.
Conclusions: Quality of life and depression scores remained good in both study groups. However, quality of life and depression should be monitored in follow-up of HIV-infected patients in sub-Saharan Africa.